How is my life a witness in the world? As I continue to mature in my faith that question has become one of great significance in shaping how I try to live my life, because how I live matters. I have struggled, however, over the years as to why. In Jesus we have been given great freedom, so why does how we live matter so much? Am I still seeking to earn favor from God that has already been given to me and to all by his grace?
In Paul’s generation eating meat sacrificed to idols was a hot button issue to which he says, “So then, about eating food sacrificed to idols: We know that “An idol is nothing at all in the world” and that “There is no God but one.” He says, “we are no worse if we do not eat, and no better if we do.” Ahhh… sweet freedom. The difficult realization, however, has become (and I still wrestle with this) that the way I live matters not for my sake, but for the sake of others. Paul says, “9 Be careful, however, that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block to the weak. For if anyone with a weak conscience sees you, with all your knowledge, eating in an idol’s temple, won’t they be emboldened to eat what is sacrificed to idols? So this weak brother or sister, for whom Christ died, is destroyed by your knowledge. When you sin against them in this way and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ.”
In other words, it’s not about me. My life as a disciple of Jesus is about making more disciples (See Matthew 28). How I live matters… how I exercise my freedom matters because of those around me who do not yet know Jesus.
Paul says, “Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother or sister to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause them to fall.”
What in my life that is well within my rights one who has been redeemed am I willing to NOT DO for the sake of others.